The immune system relies on whole body health to function optimally. While all nutrients are needed to support overall health, there are certain nutrients that play important roles in the function of the immune system.
Here are several of those nutrients and some foods in which they are found:
Found in foods like broccoli, peppers, and oranges, Vitamin C enhances immune function by helping to protect immune cells from free-radical damage.
Found in fatty fish such as salmon as well as fortified milks and cereals, this fat-soluble vitamin helps regulate the immune system.
Found in foods like avocado, almonds, and peanut butter, Vitamin E boosts antioxidant activity and helps to protect cell membranes.
Required for the growth and development of immune cells, Zinc is found in foods such as baked beans, pumpkin seeds, and shrimp.
This mineral helps to make chemical messengers that regulate inflammation and immune function, and is found in foods like chicken, brown rice, quinoa, and eggs.
Used to make immune cells that kill viruses, bacteria, and other organisms that cause disease, Iron is found in foods like beans, beef, and chocolate.
An overall pattern of eating that is plant-forward and includes a variety of health-promoting foods will provide the nutrients needed to support your immune health.